Author: Ryan Ozawa

Governor pushes for increased access, transparency

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has urged all state department heads to “strengthen efforts to increase access to public information, ensure that government business is conducted as openly as possible, and enhance government accountability.” The executive memo, issued without fanfare on Aug. 25, reiterates Gov. Ige’s push for more openness and public...

Microsoft Announces ‘Project Honolulu’

Microsoft has again invoked the Aloha State for a product name, this week announcing “Project Honolulu.” Project Honolulu is described as a “flexible, locally-deployed, browser-based management platform and tools” recommended as a “graphical management solution” for Windows Server. In announcing the tool, Microsoft doesn’t explain how or why it chose...

VR Junkies Comes to Hawaii

There’s a newly opened virtual reality gaming shop at Ala Moana Center called VR Junkies Hawaii. It’s actually part of a national chain, which Opapo Fonoimoana discovered in Utah and brought back to Honolulu. We were introduced to Opapo by local software developer Evan Nagle, and interviewed him about VR and...

National Podcasts, Local Ads

Even though I’m a retired old-school podcaster, I’m still a voracious podcast listener. And over the last few weeks, I was surprised to hear ads for Hawaii companies while listening to National Public Radio podcasts. On NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour,” I heard a pre-roll ad for First Insurance Company...

Geek Beat: Nintendo Switch & Smartphones

New hardware in the headlines for this week’s “Geek Beat” on the Hawaii News Now “Sunrise” morning show, and the big hit was the Nintendo Switch. But LG and Samsung also unveiled their heavy hitters in the premium Android smartphone ring.

Coinbase Pulls Out of Hawaii

One of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges announced today that it would be closing accounts of customers in Hawaii due to state regulatory policies that “will render continued Coinbase operations in Hawaii impractical.” The announcement comes despite recent movement in the Hawaii state legislature to study the uses of and determine...

‘This American Life’ Visits Niihau

“The Forbidden Isle” will be featured in an upcoming episode of “This American Life.” Titled “I Don’t Make the Rules,” episode #611 of the popular radio program will visit the island of Niihau, which is privately held and nearly impossible to visit.

Geek Beat: Snap, Amazon & Uber

The tech and investing world is picking apart Snap’s filing for its Initial Public Offering in March, the Amazon Echo continues to learn new skills, and Uber dreams of a fleet of flying cars. These are the stories we cover in this week’s “Geek Beat” on Hawaii News Now’s “Sunrise” morning show.

Geek Beat: Honda, Polaroid & LEGO

This week, we followed the Hawaii News Now “Sunrise” morning crew out to the Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. After some shenanigans with a hot dog, we served another mixed plate of tech news, featuring Honda’s new self-balancing motorcycle, Polaroid’s 3-D pen, and the LEGO Boost system.

Geek Beat: Amazon Go, Live Video & Emoji

This week’s “Geek Beat” segment was a mixed plate of tech news, including Amazon’s new brick-and-mortar “Go” concept store, Twitter’s live video offering, and the latest batch of new emoji… and I don’t care what the Unicode standard says, it’s a “shaka.”

Geek Beat: Hour of Code

It’s Computer Science Education Week! This international celebration of computers and technology and STEM education brings a lot of great events to schools around the world, and in Hawaii. The “Hour of Code” brought me and my coworkers out to an elementary school in Kaneohe.

Geek Beat: Black Friday Tech Shopping

Once again, we were able to join the bleary-eyed Hawaii News Now “Sunrise” morning crew on their annual pilgrimage to Honolulu’s retail hotspots for “Black Friday.” Our shopping picks included the best Android smartphone on the market, the newest portable drone, and battery packs… if you can get them shipped.

Geek Beat: Fake News and Filter Bubbles

With many still reeling from the results of the U.S. presidential election, our friends at Hawaii News Now called an audible, setting aside the gadgets to tackle the intersection of tech and politics. After a quick mannequin challenge. There’s “fake news” on Facebook, real harassment on Twitter, and big question marks under a Trump administration.

Geek Beat: High-End Hardware

Microsoft staked its claim to the high-end hardware market with the announcement of its new Surface Book and its giant Surface Studio, both big upgrades (including in price). The company is clearly positioning itself against Apple, which announced a new MacBook Pro that I crave, but that has left some Apple fans wanting.

Geek Beat: Drone Showdown

With the World Drone Racing Championships taking place this weekend on the North Shore, it seemed like a good time to revisit drones. Kualoa Ranch will host pilots from 18 countries for a FPV UAV competition, while the rest of us shop for more stable airships to take great aerial photos and videos.

Geek Beat: Google Hardware Announcements

Google announced a number of new hardware releases, which we covered in the latest Geek Beat. There’s the new Pixel smartphone, a flagship device aimed at (and priced like) the iPhone, the Daydream View virtual reality headset, and the Google Home, Google’s entry into the smart home market in the wake of the surprise success of the Amazon Echo.

Civil Geeks: Tales from The Other Side

My last “Civil Geeks” column is a continuation of the previous piece addressing the practical and positive reasons why Hawaii startups often make the leap to the West Coast. In part two, I talk to entrepreneurs about why they decided to head across the ocean. Once settled in San Francisco,...

Geek Beat: Google Apps, Twitter Updates

On the latest Geek Beat, we cover a couple of new apps from Google: Allo, a “smart messaging app,” and Trips, a travel guide that helps track your itinerary and even works offline. Finally, a small update from Twitter, allowing more media (photos, videos, quoted tweets) without burning valuable characters.

Civil Geeks: Startups Leave Hawaii and That’s Okay

My latest (and penultimate) column for Civil Beat addresses comments I’ve constantly heard throughout the growth of Hawaii’s nascent innovation economy. When a local startup announces that it’s relocating to Silicon Valley, there are a lot of congratulations but also a few complaints. A startup’s ability to succeed outside Hawaii...

Geek Beat: New Apple Gear, Samsung Woes

Relying entirely on news leaks and rumors, today’s Geek Beat covers what Apple was announcing as we spoke at its September 2016 keynote. We also touch on problems with Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7.